Food Waste is a Large Contributor to the Environmental Crisis
Some of us are faithful in our regard for the planet, we recycle, we make sure to go paperless, conserve water, and even take part in awareness programmes to show other people how to help save the delicate balance of the eco-system from complete ruin. But! Despite that the number is in the millions, compared to the billions of people in the world, you can’t help but feel that we’re not doing enough.
Garnered from the different studies done by various scientists and non-profit organizations I will point out some staggering stats that should show you how serious the problem of food waste is right now.
Food and CO2 emissions
In the UK over $20 billion worth of food is wasted a year. If food waste is properly tackled in the UK it’s the equivalent in taking one in five cars off the road.
In the US, if food that is thrown away is composted, it reduces CO2 emissions so drastically that its the energy equivalent of taking 2 million cars off the road in that year.
It is estimated that by the year 2075 we will have reached a peak population of roughly 9.5 billion people.
Food and Water Wastage
Almost 4 trillion m3 of water is used by humans per year- about 70% of this water is used in the agriculture sector. It is said that better irrigation systems can improve crop yield and can be up to 33% more efficient.
Today around 4 billion metric tonnes of food is produced per annum, yet almost 2 billion tonnes do not reach a stomach. Large amounts of land, energy, fertilisers, water and landfill space are lost because of this.
Food and Wasted potential
Its estimated that in the US alone the food waste amount is as much as the entire net food production of the sub-Saharan Africa, and more than half the worlds annual cereals.
Did you know that in the US alone so much energy is wasted in taking care of wasted food products that it’s the equivalent of 40 TRILLION litres of water? That’s the amount of water needed to produce 30% of the food that is wasted every year (that is enough to provide for the needs of 500 million families).
You could say to yourself, but food waste cant be helped, its either I stuff myself or it goes down the bin. There are ways to tackle this situation and it starts with you, the individual. Studies show that about almost half of the world’s food produced goes to waste. Roughly 50% of this is from households like yours and mine, meaning we’re essentially half of the problem. And this makes us half the solution.
Taken from the David Suzuki foundation here are five tips on how to reduce food waste in the home:
“1.Take produce out of plastic bags. Airtight wrappings
suffocate fresh produce and speed up the decay process.
2. Don’t wash produce until you’re ready to eat it. Moisture
encourages decomposition and mould growth.
3. Don’t rip off fruit stems. Once living cells are broken,
microorganisms start to grow. Keep produce whole as long
4. Eat the most perishable items first—raspberries last a few
days; potatoes can hang around for about a month.
5. Speed up the ripening process by putting the item (a peach,
for example) in a paper bag with a banana.”
You can view the PDF here.
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